Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What is new and a fangirl moment

I believe the only reason I keep this blog up is because I have a link to it on my website. As I do a monthly newsletter now for my followers, I post here for unknown reasons actually. However, why not and I should add the link to my LinkedIn account as well. So, sure, there are reasons.

And for a quick tangent: there were days not too long ago when we were not so connected to these things. I suppose in some ways it is better and one can connect with like-minded people from around the world but it really is a full-time job to try and keep updating everything...and in the end, I ask "does anyone give a ****?" I hope so and I suppose that is what people still do is hope.

I have spent the last several months really taking a look at the work I have created since The Divine Journey and see where I am in my art life. While I have created a new piece here and there, I am thinking I should "stop" for a while. What I mean by that is really do what I can to promote, exhibit what I have already made...maybe even going back to the Rabbitholes and Revelations/Not Wonderland work because although it may have been seen several times in New York, it is where it stopped. Do all artists do this? Create a body of work, promote it a little and then move to something else or am I that impatient that I need to make more work instead of this promoting/exhibiting stuff? I need to slow down even if I am afraid to. Why afraid? Afraid that my work sucks and if it's "all I have" and no one likes it at all, then what?

Ah, but that is not accurate in fact and some news on that which I am a bit "squee" about. Heather Nova - successful singer/songwriter whom I have been a fan of since the mid-90s has gushed about my work and has even inquired about purchasing some! This occurred in a very interesting way. As a fan, I have subscribed to her mailing list on her site, her YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook accounts. No, I am not stalking her! I keep up with many of my favorite musical artists this way and as stated earlier, we are all connected this way now.

So, back in February, I sent Heather a fan email from an address on her website of her management team basically. I wrote how her music has impacted my life, and how it directly helped get me to where I am today. I also added a link to my website in case she'd be interested in seeing my work. I never expected an answer at all. However, in June, she "liked" two of my photos on Instagram and then 8 months later, several days ago, in fact, I received an amazing response from her first apologizing for taking so long to respond because my mail ended up in the Spam folder of her management team. She then thanked me for sharing my story, about my hardships and how touched she was by my words. Then this:

"I looked at your website and absolutely LOVE your art! Wow!  It really speaks to me. I see you have a similar connection to the natural world. (i often draw and paint, incorporating our animal sides in an acknowledgement of that connection)  I also love how personal  your work is, and how you depict the emotional and spiritual element of the feminine. Really so so special! "

She then asked if the work was for sale. So, yes, I feel a bit chuffed. Even if for some reason, the sales do not happen, I touched someone who has touched me and that makes me feel so wonderful!  

So, with that news, I end this post with a latest image. I haven't titled it yet. 

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Autumn Returns

I have had a very busy traveling summer, this time to the region of Bretagne. I am always so blessed to be living in a country so rich with history and one that does everything to preserve it by a huge amount of restoration projects of their castles, monuments and ruins. And even with the wars and horrors that France endured, what is left are places of romance and wonder with the most beautiful architecture ever seen anywhere in the world.

And Bretagne, or Brittany if you will is the Celtic homeland in France. As the singer Loreena McKennitt has said, the Celts were gypsies and moved to different countries onll originating in Scotland and Ireland. The Breton language is a form of French-Gaelic and just as difficult to spell and pronounce but I am fascinated by the Celts because of their mysterious languages and traditions that the people seem hardened fast to hold on to. I love that so much.

Since I have returned, I have had time to reflect and continue to do so. I am not working on a new project at the moment but have been adding to current series. I am allowing the thoughts to just flow and when my mind and heart feels there is something new, it will come. I have faith in that.

Soon, I will be able to purchase my printer. I should be doing so in November and then I can begin to offer prints of not only certain images, but of drawings that I have made over the last few years.

And speaking of, here is my latest drawing created based on the last image I posted here entitled Nature Morte. I will be offering this as a print.


Soon, my modeling job recommences and another year will soon come to a close. I will make my usual end-of-year post then. In the meantime, I will watch as the leaves fall, feel as the air becomes cooler, smell as everything around readies itself for its Winter sleep.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer musings

2 weeks ago, I was in a few of the most beautiful places here in France. Ok, ok it is difficult to find places that aren't but they do exist as well.

My husband and I went to 4 different places - Vitré, Fougères, the famous Le Mont Saint-Michel and Rennes. I can never tire of seeing such magnificent monuments from the Middle Ages or even newer centuries but all so very rich with history.  I realize so much of the history came with war, suffering and pain but I see them for all of their romantic aspects.  If you click on each town, you will be led to my Flickr albums to see the highlights.


In the meantime, I am preparing for a visit from my best friend back in the US and planning some other day trips with my husband. I wish I could say I have been doing some creating but aside from a little drawing, and a few images here and there, I have one piece I wish to share at the moment on this blog.


For whoever is actually reading my blog nowadays, I do publish a monthly newsletter through my website that  includes news, updates, more photos and even some offers that are available only to my subscribers. Go to my site under my News Page and subscribe!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Mon site redesigné - en français et anglais

Mon site web est optimisé et a un meilleur look maintenant.

Allez sur ma page d'Actualités souscrire à ma liste de diffusion et recevoir mon bulletin mensuelle qui contient des mises à jour, des pensées et offres exclusives pour mes "suiveurs" uniquement.

N'oubliez pas que j'ajoute les nouveaux (et anciens) travaux photographiques et même souvent des dessins sur mes pages Instagram et Facebook.

Un bel été à vous et à la rentrée.


My website has a sleeker look! Please have a look:

www.annmarietornabene.net

Please go to my News page to subscribe to my mailing list and receive my monthly newsletter which contains updates, thoughts and offers exclusive to my followers only.

Also, don't forget that I add new (or old) photographic work and even drawings often on my Instagram and Facebook pages. 

Have a wonderful summer and see you in the Fall!

J'ai pris cette photo au Château de Monte-Cristo. C'etait la maison et l'atelier d'auteur Alexandre Dumas qui a écrit Les Trois Mousquetaires et Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, juin 2018.

I took this photo at the Chateau of Monte-Cristo. It was the home and studio of author Alexandre Dumas who wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo.




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer Begins

I am slowly re-designing my website. I say slowly because I am working with a "web guy" who does this professionally, in addition to having a family so I am at the mercy of his free time, which, in that time, he has graciously and generously offered to help me.

However, it looks like we are very close to finishing it up and it looks nice and more modern, so to speak. It will still have my "signature" beige-like background as I really have problems with white, gray and black backgrounds for websites...or perhaps it's just for my website? In any event, it's soothing to the eye and helps keep the focus on looking at my images, text, etc.

And speaking of websites, I have had two of my images published in this month's F-Stop Magazine. I am not very happy with the layout and I have voiced my opinion to the editor but it is some exposure, I think, and something to add to the CV. At this point, until I have a printer to print my work, I will have to try and expose myself more online. When the website is finished, I will do more of that - seeking out online submissions to reputable "magazines". There have been several I had been part of who now have disappeared. That is the "risk" of anything online...well even in real life, many galleries close without notice.

However, it is easier to go online. Anyone can create a website and become a curator of art, photography, etc. but as with curating a physical exhibit, one needs to be dedicated to it and to really know what she/he is doing or who they are approaching in terms of audience. For example, Lenscratch.com, which is curated by Aline Smithson, is a wonderful example of something that has been around for quite awhile and her online exhibitions includes great work! The submission policy is open and free so anyone can submit but she organizes the images in a manner that they look so well together and the show looks strong. Anyway, there are lots of online photography sites but like gallery seeking, one has to find the right match.

On a personal note, I have some good vacation time coming up with my beloved in July and in August, my dearest best friend will be visiting for a week! I can not wait to take him around Paris, Versailles and some off-the-grid towns that only someone that lives in France can do! It is now 3 years that I am living in this wonderfully rich country. While there are challenges, stresses and annoyances, I really love living here. I am blessed.

I will include another new image here that I may have posted before but have since revised it. Here is "A Secret World".


Sunday, June 3, 2018

F-Stop Magazine, Website, Etchings and EU Regulations....

I wanted to make an announcement that 2 of my images have been published to the online photo magazine F-Stop. They could be a little difficult to find so I will post the 2 here:

"Bees in My Head"























And "Outside the Rain"






















Neither image are on my website yet as I am in the process of redesigning the site so if you go to it now, there are a few issues with image sizes and I will be excluding and re-editing the images that I am including. I would like to have the site finished before the end of this month but I am waiting for some things from my web-builder friend who is helping me.

In addition, I am working with a printmaker in the US who specializes in photogravure and is making limited editions of one of my images at the moment and hoping a few others will follow. Here is a short YouTube video of him printing "The Child with the Sky in Her Sights'. I am looking forward to really being able to sell these as I love the idea of my work turned into etchings....



And lastly, I am sure Blogger has made the disclaimer and I will just quickly mention that with the new EU Regulations in place and even before, I declare that I will never sell or share your information with any third party company. If you are following me, it is because you have subscribed to my blog. You are free to unsubscribe you like but, look, I make art (or what I like to think is art), and in no way a scammer. I hope you continue to follow me - if not here, then on FB or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter which is also protected by the new regulations in place.

Bon dimanche!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

finishing a series is a blessing or curse?

When I come to what I think is the end of a series, I know it. A boredom sets in and new ideas peek into my mind. Sometimes there are crumbs left though that I keep in case they become something at a later date but I definitely know when it's time to leave.

There is a relief there. It's almost as if I "had" to do this body of work and I am tired so when it's done, I think, "thank goodness!"

Well, it is work after all but then afterward, I stare at the images...and spend days and weeks staring, editing, and staring some more. I juggle with the question of when it is too soon to promote this work and what about the work I created before this? When do I stop promoting that. Do I promote anything (I mean beyond my website and social media)?

With me, I never stop working which is not always good. I have seen artists take a year or more to just promote the work they made, exhibit it and focus on that. I don't always have the patience to sit and do that..

or is it fear that this series I spent so much work creating on is not good enough to promote and to just keep working until, somehow it is? When is it good enough?

So I keep going and going and if opportunities present themselves to me, then perhaps I try. However, sitting with the work for longer than days and weeks is also a good thing because it needs the test of time to see if the images are as successful as I thought at the beginning....but it can also keep me in a tunnel and I need a change of scenery, so to speak, in order to see with fresh eyes.

So, having said all that, I came to conclude the Allegory series. I am working with a web guy to completely re-design my website and bring it up to date so the series will go up at that time..I am hoping by end of June for that. I have spent the last few months thinking of what to keep and what to eliminate on my site and I think I finally have it all sorted.

And just the last 2 days, I have had conversations with my husband and then my best artist girlfriend about another concept..another idea....because I can't stop. Is that a blessing or curse?